Goals vs. Systems
Goals are important but when it comes to actual execution, you don't rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems. What does that mean? It means goals are something you strive to achieve but you can only achieve those goals through your habits, your processes, and the environment you create.
Let’s define what a goal really is: It's your target or the outcome you wish to achieve.
Let’s define what a system really is: It’s a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized framework or method. Said another way, It's the collection of habits you perform on a daily basis. It's how you perform these habits every day in your environment to move you towards your outcome goal... each little habit is kind of like a gear in the overall machine. By refining the habits, by tweaking the environment, by upgrading the social environment that you interact with, you're trying to optimize the system to get a better result. We need both goals and a system to be successful. Goals provide a sense of direction and clarity, they can act as a filter so it's easier to say no to things but ultimately the “winners” and the “losers” have the same goal. In fact most people have the same goal so it comes down to how effective is your system. That's why I have recently changed my thought process around setting goals. Now I set goals and have clients set goals and then we focus on the behaviors that will move us towards those goals on a daily basis. Solidifying these behavior goals or what could be called habits is really how to achieve the goal. That’s why focusing on the process and making it a lifestyle will ultimately help you become the person you see in your outcome goal.
The takeaway is to systematize your life by deciding what behaviors you need to perform daily, weekly and monthly to make sure you are progressing towards your goals. I’m not saying start doing everything at once, in fact I’m saying the exact opposite. Decide who you want to be in 5 or 10 years and then decide what are the basic habits you must have in place to be that person. If that means losing 50 lbs to improve your joint pain and be able to play with your grandkids, what is first? There are lots of options from drinking half your bodyweight in water everyday to learning how to move correctly with the guidance of a coach. Maybe it’s eating 3-5 servings of veggies everyday or setting a minimum daily movement goal. The point is you have options so do what feels right for you and do one thing at a time. Figure out a system to integrate it into your life and make it a habit. Use your system to implement the next keystone habit and make it a part of your lifestyle.
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